IAWG members are addressing sexual and reproductive rights during COVID-19 humanitarian response. Read More>>

Prioritization of Maternal and Newborn Health in Conflict-Affected Contexts


Recent UN reports show that progress to reduce maternal mortality worldwide has stagnated, with the highest burden of maternal and newborn mortality persisting in countries responding to humanitarian crises. In fact, countries responding to humanitarian crises contribute to approximately 64% of global maternal deaths, 50% of newborn deaths, and 51% of stillbirths. The substantial burden in these contexts stems from many factors.

To examine these complexities, the EQUAL research consortium, funded by UK International Development from the UK government, conducted political economy analyses in Somalia, South Sudan, Nigeria, and DRC with an additional policy study completed at the global level. Employing a shared conceptual framework known as the health policy triangle, these studies investigated the political, economic, and health system influences on maternal and newborn health (MNH) prioritization amidst crisis and conflict. Utilizing a single-case descriptive design, each study leveraged desk reviews and key informant interviews to gain deeper insights into MNH policies, processes, content, and actor dynamics in each context.

Policy briefs highlighting the findings and recommendations from each study can be found below and a recording for a research dissemination webinar is accessible here.

Country Policy Briefs

Sexual and reproductive health services remain critical during COVID-19

IAWG members and partners are producing clinical and programmatic guidance, assessments, policy papers, and statements to ensure continued prioritization of sexual and reproductive health and rights throughout COVID-19 response in humanitarian settings.